MONDAY MUSINGS: Campbell to TCU? Not a chance.

Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell celebrates with his players after the Cyclones scored a touchdown in the second quarter against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames.

Well, I guess it is that time of the year again.

No, I’m not talking about the end of daylight savings and the fact it will start getting dark at noon in Iowa. I’m talking about “Matt Campbell is a target for *insert every potential job opening under the sun*” season.

This annual event arrived in honestly somewhat hilarious fashion on Sunday when Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported TCU having an interest in hiring Matt Campbell as its next coach.

In other news, I have an interest in Taylor Swift being my girlfriend, but that’s neither here nor there.

Unfortunately for me, and TCU, these situations probably have an equal likelihood of happening and that likelihood equates to somewhere between a hard no and absolutely no chance in hell.

I don’t know if this is the year Matt Campbell leaves Iowa State. I don’t think it will be, but even if it is I feel confident in saying this one thing…

Matt Campbell isn’t going to TCU.

“I’ve answered this question for a long time, my history has said and who I’ve been is exactly what I’ve done in terms of where I’m interested in being and what I’m interested in doing,” Campbell said when asked about the TCU opening during the Big 12 teleconference on Monday. “We’ve got such a great fanbase, such a great program right now at Iowa State in what we’re doing and what we’re building that really I’ve just worried about our own program and nothing else outside of it.”

Look, this is nothing against TCU. The Horned Frogs have a fine program. I wrote last week about how I felt the administration didn’t really do right by Gary Patterson or the program’s players in how they handled that situation, but I’m putting that aside for a moment.

Outside of having had success in the Big 12, what makes Campbell a good fit for that job?

I’m asking a serious question and I don’t think it is one that has serious answers.

Campbell has minimal ties in the state of Texas. The best representation of this fact is that Iowa State has only five Lone Star State natives on its current roster.

Objectively, Iowa State’s program is in a better position right now today than TCU’s is. Could that change? Absolutely, but I know Campbell loves the next crop of players developing in the program. The cupboard will not be bare once Brock Purdy, Breece Hall, Charlie Kolar and so on down the line move onto life’s next ventures.

I find it hard to believe, after all the years we’ve been around Matt Campbell, that he would decide to take a job where he’d coach against the kids he recruited to Iowa State on a yearly basis. I’ve spent too much time around Campbell and listened to him talk for too many hours to think that is something that man would ever do.

The only things that make Campbell attractive to TCU are, again, his sustained success in the Big 12 and the fact he’s a sitting head coach. The same criteria apply to Lincoln Riley and Mike Gundy.

I wonder if either of them is on TCU’s shortlist.

Maybe I’m wrong and TCU would be a viable option for Campbell. I suppose it is possible, but only possible in the same sense that I could possibly date Taylor Swift.

It would take something obscenely improbable for that situation to ever get any sort of legs.

So, that’s why it doesn’t surprise me when Campbell gave the answer he did after being asked if it’s safe to say he hasn’t had contact with TCU.

“That is certainly safe to say,” Campbell said with a chuckle.

I would say the same thing about my contact with Swift. My phone is always on, though, Taylor, so feel free to reach out anytime. I’ll be more open to the possibilities than Campbell is with the Horned Frogs, I promise.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.